Irwin Pollack, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Research Scientist Emeritus in the Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Michigan, passed away January 23, 2021 at the age of ninety-five.
Professor Pollack received his B.S. degree in 1945 from the University of Florida and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1946 and 1949, respectively, from Harvard University. Following his doctoral work, Professor Pollack was a research psychologist at the U.S. Navy Electronics Laboratory. He then served as director and senior research psychologist at the Air Force Operational Applications Laboratory prior to coming to the University of Michigan. In 1963, he received a joint appointment at Michigan as professor of psychology and research scientist in the Mental Health Research Institute. He retired as Emeritus Professor of Psychology in 1995. Professor Pollack was an active member of the Department of Psychology throughout his retirement years, attending research talks, faculty meetings, and department social events. He was generous in his praise and support for our faculty and students, and a valued colleague and friend.
Professor Pollack is internationally known for his novel approaches to the study of the auditory system. Over the span of his career, he was interested in the nervous system interpretation of auditory information. He recently focused on an experimental approach that distinguished between two general modes of processing sensory information: "within-signal" and ''between signal" sound comparison, which are necessary for auditory discrimination tasks. The long-term goal of his research was to improve our understanding of the human binaural system. Such understanding provided a foundation for new prostheses and signal processing procedures to aid localization of hard-of-hearing patients. Professor Pollack a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and of the American Psychological Association.
Professor Pollack is survived by his wife of almost 72 years, Marcille Kaufman Pollack; three children, Sharron (m. Joe Weixlmann), Phyllis, and Stanley Pollack; his grandchildren Dave Metz, Sarah Metz Krissoff, Seth Weixlmann, Adira Weixlmann, and Ben Weixlmann; and great-grandson Paxton Metz.
Professor Pollack’s obituary can be found at this link.
Professor Pollack’s memorial service can be found at this link.